Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"I'm having outpatient breast surgery in 2 days but took ibuprofen today. Should I postpone surgery?"

ZocdocAnswersI'm having outpatient breast surgery in 2 days but took ibuprofen today. Should I postpone surgery?


was told not to take aspirin or any blood thinner 7 days prior to surgery, took ibuprofen today for a headache, should I postpone surgery


As with any surgery, thorough and honest communication between the patient and surgeon is critical to maximize your chances for a successful outcome. Without knowing the details of your medical history or the planned procedure, I cannot comment on the specific safety of ibuprofen, and I urge you to call your surgeon's office for a final answer. In general, aspirin and blood thinners are avoided prior to surgery as they can increase bleeding risk. In certain situations, the risk of stopping aspirin or a blood thinner outweighs the risk of increased bleeding, and patients must continue them through the surgery. Ibuprofen is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. It works through a different mechanism than aspirin or blood thinners such as coumadin. However, it can slightly increase bleeding risk, which is why I encourage you to discuss this with your surgeon. In addition to increased bleeding risk, ibuprofen inhibits production of your stomach's protective lining. It can also have adverse effects on your kidneys. These adverse side effects increase with higher doses. Without knowing your medical history, I cannot determine if taking ibuprofen could cause even further risks that could require your surgery to be postponed. Therefore, I recommend you discuss this further with your surgeon prior to undergoing the procedure.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.